A natural weathering test is a procedure for the realistic examination of a surface coating. This involves the coated test pieces being exposed to various environmental conditions in special weathering stations.
Various weathering stations can be utilised, depending on area of application of the coating and defined test goals. For example, the influence of strong climatic stresses through UV rays on a surface coating can be examined at test sites in Florida and Arizona. Test stations near the coast or on the North Sea islands of Sylt and Heligoland are especially suited for testing the effects of salty sea air. Stresses from industrial emissions or car exhaust can be examined in the vicinity of busy roads or at exposed sites within industrial areas.
Test pieces used in natural weathering tests are either coated test sheets with defined dimensions (panels) or individual components or assembled modules.